Former Titans linemen Kevin Mawae, Steve Hutchinson Wait for Hall of Fame Fate


ATLANTA – Offensive linemen Kevin Mawae and Steve Hutchinson did their part on the football field.

Now, it's up to Hall of Fame voters to determine if they'll make the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

Mawae and Hutchinson each spent time with the Titans. Both players are among this year's 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Their candidacy will be discussed by the voters here on Saturday, and an announcement will be made later in the day.

Mawae played 16 NFL seasons (1994-2009), including four seasons with the Titans (2006-09). He began his career with the Seahawks and also played with the Jets before retiring after the 2009 season in Tennessee.

Mawae was named to eight All-Pro teams, and eight Pro Bowls during his career while playing in 241 career games.

Hutchinson played in 169 games over 12 NFL seasons with the Seahawks, Vikings and Titans, from 2001-2012. He played in 2012 with the Titans.

Hutchinson was a Pro Bowler seven times in his career, including three straight seasons with the Seahawks (2003-2005). Hutchinson was a five-time All-Pro First-Teamer and was twice named to the All-Pro Second-Team. He was selected to the 2000s All-Decade Team.

Prior to Hall of Fame weekend in previous years, players spoke up in favor of Mawae. Hutchinson has received strong support as well, especially in Seattle and Minnesota, where he spent the majority of his career.

Former Titans offensive lineman Bruce Matthews, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, previously told Titans Online he thinks Mawae deserves to get in.

"I gained a much greater appreciate for Kevin when he went to Tennessee and Mike Munchak coached him,'' Matthews said. "I had known Kevin and played in the Pro Bowl with him. The thing I always appreciated about Kevin was he was a team-first guy. He would have been a teammate I would have enjoyed playing with. When I was playing and he was still at Seattle or the Jets, he is a guy that I watched. I think he is definitely deserving and it would be cool to see him go in."

Shaun O'Hara, who played center for 11 seasons with the Giants and Browns, is a fan of Mawae's as well.

Mawae blocked for Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin with the Jets, and for running back Chris Johnson during his 2,006-yard season in Tennessee. According to Elias, Mawae played 90 games in which there was a 100-yard rusher, the most by any offensive lineman.

"I wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame if it wasn't for him,'' Martin said of Mawae. "It would make my day to see him get in there. Kevin was more like a fullback playing center, and the feet that he had were unbelievable. He was just as quick as tight ends, the way he played. So we were able to have a much larger running package because of what he was able to do."

In 241 career games, Mawae protected quarterbacks with his life. He was durable – he played in 177 consecutive games during one stretch. He was a first-team, all-decade center for the 2000s.

Mawae blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in 13 of his 16 seasons. Running backs Chris Warren (1,545 yards in 1994), Martin (1,697 in 2004), LenDale White (1,110 in 2007) and Johnson (2,006 in 2009) had the highest season rushing total of their career with Mawae on the line.

"There wasn't a block that he couldn't execute or master, whether it was a back block on a 350-pound nose guard or reach-blocking a shaded nose guard,'' O'Hara said of Mawae. "He was big on pulling out on a lot of outside plays, which not a lot of centers could do. And he was a very tough guy, and the fact he played as long as he did was a testament to his work ethic and durability. He is absolutely a Hall of Famer in my mind. He is one of the best centers to ever play the game, so I am certainly pulling for him this weekend. I know he'll get it. It is not a question of if, it is really just when."

The 15 Modern-Era finalists will be considered for election to the Hall of Fame when the Hall's Selection Committee meets on "Selection Saturday" to elect the new class. The modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall's Selection Committee from a list of 103 nominees that was earlier reduced to 25 semifinalists, during the year-long selection process.

Titans Online looks back at the Titans career of Hall of Fame center Kevin Mawae, who played in Tennessee from 2006-09. (Photos) looks back at the Titans' career of guard Steve Hutchinson. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

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